China's Railway Ministry is promising that the price of train travel won't go up during the upcoming Spring Festival. And the Ministry of Communications has capped bus ticket price hikes at ten percent of regular fares. The 40 day peak travel period starts January 23, when tens of millions of people are expected to return to their home towns.
China's Spring Festival holiday is quickly approaching. The Ministry of Railways is assuring travellers they will get a fair deal when buying train tickets and tickets that are now discounted will stay the same price.
Meanwhile, stations in Beijing, Guangzhou and several other cities will offer round trip tickets especially for migrant workers. Some 170 million Chinese are expected to take train trips over the Chinese New Year.
To cope with the crowds, the ministry will add an extra 300 temporary return train journeys to its regular schedule and has drawn up plans to deal with possible emergencies.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communications estimates the number of passengers will rise by five percent on last year, with over two billion trips predicted.
In the southern island province of Hainan, oil price rises mean passengers have to pay an extra one fen --or 0.01 of a yuan, -- per kilometer. Travellers say the charge is understandable as the cost of gasoline has gone up.